MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation has awarded gr ants totaling $338,490 to 156 rural fire departments across the state as part of the Department's annual Volunteer Fire Assistance Matching gr ant Program.
The gr ants help these small-town, mostly volunteer fire departments buy personal protective gear and firefighting equipment.
"Rural fire departments that apply for the gr ants can receive up to $4,000 in gr ant funds from the Conservation Department and U.S. Forest Service to reimburse equipment costs specifically related to wildfire suppression," MDC Forestry Field Programs Supervisor Ben Webster said. "To receive gr ant funds, fire departments must match every dollar they're gr anted."
To qualify for the program, fire departments must serve a population of 10,000 or fewer people. The program is designed to help the departments purchase equipment they would not otherwise be able to afford.
"These gr ants mean increased safety for the firefighters and better protection in forested areas of the state," Webster said.
Gr ant funds are used on everything from radios and other communication equipment to chainsaws, hoses and hand tools.
Over the last 30 years, the MDC has distributed more than $7.5 million to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment. Funding for the program is provided by the MDC and the U.S. Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance Program.
For more information on how the MDC helps fire departments around the state, visit the MDC website by clicking here.